Guest Blogger: Rachel Brummert
As I walked across a parking lot, I simultaneously heard it and felt it––a loud snap and searing pain.
My Achilles tendon ruptured doing something as mundane and routine as walking to my car.
It was the first of ten tendon ruptures I went on to endure over the next nine years, in addition to developing a neurodegenerative disease, from which I will never recover.
What would cause a thirty-six year old woman to fall apart at such a young age and in the prime of her life?
In 2006, I went to the doctor for a sinus infection and I was given a fluoroquinolone antibiotic called Levaquin, and that antibiotic disabled me.
I was never told of the risks. I was never told that this class of antibiotics was manufactured for the treatment of life threatening bacterial infections such as anthrax, and that they should never have been prescribed for a mild, routine infection such as the sinus infection I had. I was never told that I would be in chronic pain for the rest of my life and that I would progressively lose my motor and cognitive function.
When your life changes so dramatically and you face your own mortality, you can feel lost. You want your old life back. You want to curse life and drown in the vortex of “why me?”
Those feelings are completely natural, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. It took some time, but I learned that my disabilities don’t define me or dictate how I choose to live my life. Instead of mourning the loss of my old life, I accept my new normal and choose to channel the anger and frustration I once had after this happened to me into helping others through my work with the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation. It is important for me to raise awareness about what happened to me so that this does not happen to anyone else. But it is equally important for me to show that it is possible to go through hell and come out on the other side.
That is why I am honored to be part of the book The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging With Life, Creating a New You with Mariagrazia and 48 other authors. We have all come together to tell our story about overwhelming obstacles and how we found strength and resiliency through the trials we have been dealt. We would all be cheating ourselves out of a good life if we didn’t find support and courage to get through the things that happened to us.
And we hope our stories inspire you to find your way through your obstacles and to reengage with life so you can tell your story and inspire others also.
For more information about the risks of fluoroquinolone antibiotics and our work at the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, go to www.SaferPills.org.
For more information about the book The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You, go to www.iampossibleproject.com/one.
About Rachel Brummert
She serves as President and Executive Director of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, an internationally recognized leader in research, advocacy, and education about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.